Saturday, February 21, 2015

Starting the VLPD

Yesterday I met my Mentor for the VPLD (Virtual Professional Learning and Development) programme on a Skype call.  It is always a bit nerve-wrecking when you are set up with a mentor. Is there going to be a connection? Are they going to understand where you are coming from? What support will they provide?

It is safe to say that my mentor Lorraine ticks all the boxes and after an hour of talking I felt motivated and inspired to start setting my goals for this year. My next problem is how to narrow down those goals to only a few.  I need a goal around my leadership in e-learning and within that there are two goals: the technology implementation and the pedagogical implementation. And yes I see them as being two things. Organising the technology itself is huge. Enabling others to use it also huge. Then there is me. I have so many ideas about what I want to implement in my classroom in my own practice. So perhaps I will need 3 goals?

The template for goal setting for this programme and the example given are very useful but I do think I will be requiring the guidance of a critical friend to help me make them manageable and measurable (looking at you +Rebbecca Sweeney). My mentor should then be able to also give me some guidance. I am still feeling the need for the critical friend part as my relationship with my mentor is new and I don't really know them yet. Sometimes you just need someone who knows you to give you a gentle push/shove/squash/reality check.

My mentor did give some good advice on linking my goals to my appraisal goals at my school. This means that there is no doubling of work.  I was a bit unhappy about my appraisal goal at the end of last year. My syndicate leader sort of made it for me (as opposed to it coming from me). We had just undertaken a new appraisal system (Triples) and to be honest I wasn't really sure about what was supposed to happen.  I am hoping I get to change my goal with my new syndicate leader and to have more ownership over the process too.